Sunny’s Maniladas

You read that correctly. Maniladas. A mash-up of enchilada and manicotti. Sounds like a little slice of heaven to me! Unfortunately me and my pregnant brain fouled it up pretty badly. Not to mention the Fourth of July Memorial Day cake I made my with my daughter. It had red stars (strawberries) and blue stripes (blueberries). And yes, I really did begin typing the Fourth of July. At one point before cutting the cake I even thought to myself, “Hey, it would help A understand the holiday if we sang Happy Birthday to our country.” Yep. Apparently I’m really excited for the Fourth. And in other dumb/dangerous pregnant brain moves, my driving. Husband put in a new headlight for me and as I was driving to work at 11:30pm the other night, I couldn’t put my brights on. I was pushing forward and nothing was happening. Husband said he didn’t know and would check it out the next day. He did. They worked. Apparently I didn’t have my lights on my entire drive to work. No headlights, no bright lights. Go me.

Maniladas anyone?

Ingredients:

  • (8-ounce) package manicotti shells
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded Note: I used 1lb chicken breasts boiled/sauteed and then shredded
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced Note: I used canned diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

For the Tomatillo sauce:

  • 1 pound tomatillos, quartered Note: I didn’t buy a 1lb
  • 1 small red onion, quartered Note: Omitted
  • 1 jalapeno, halved Note: Omitted
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the cheese sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream, room temperature
  • 2 cups grated fontina cheese Note: Monterey Jack
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Salt

The list is pretty mammoth. I know. But I so love manicotti and I love Mexican food so I was willing to give it a try. I’ve never used/eaten/bought tomatillos before and they’re kind of strange. They’re little green tomato-looking guys covered in this parchment, papery kind of skin. When you take the parchment off, the skin of the tomatillo is sticky. Weird. Maybe it was just mine, but I rinsed it off as best I could. Little did I know (because I didn’t read the recipe beforehand!) that this was a topper sauce, completely omittable, and definitely not the first thing I needed to be doing (besides it calling for them to be roasted for um, hello, like 45 minutes!? Dinner needs to be done and half eaten by then!). But I roasted. I blended. And I got sick looking at it. I didn’t even pour it out of the blender. My husband tried less than half a teaspoon and well, that was the end of the tomatillo sauce.

Of course, I didn’t read the recipe before actually deciding to make it (did I mention that?), or I would’ve put my chicken breasts in the crock pot with some chicken stock and cumin for a few hours to make it nice and shreddy. But I made due and got that carpal tunnel feeling in my forearm from shredding my boiled chicken.

Here comes the best part of the whole meal. The cheese sauce. Please make it. It was so delicious. I probably could’ve eaten just a bowl of that. Or maybe dipped some chips into it. So everything is ready and I’m preparing to fill the manicotti shells. I put the cheese sauce into a ziplock bag so that I can squeeze it nicely into the shells. Husband said, “Does the chicken not go in there?” I replied, “No, the cheese sauce does and then the chicken goes around it.” THAT WAS COMPLETELY BACKWARD. So here I am squirting, squeezing, and dripping cheese sauce everywhere when it’s not even remotely what I was supposed to be doing. It was supposed to go on top of the manicotti shells filled with the chicken mixture. About five shells in I got to thinking, “This is entirely too hard and too messy. Something is wrong.” Well duh, it was. But I was too far gone to fix it. So I just cut the manicotti shells open, filled them with cheese, and rolled them back up. I then topped them with the chicken mixture.

So not what I hoped for :(

As far as flavor goes, it wasn’t nearly as Mexican as I was hoping. Husband said it tasted like chicken alfredo with a hint of Mexican. Bummer. In the Manilada’s defense though, maybe if they were actually prepared properly, it would’ve been better. I mean they were tasty for sure, but not appealing to look at, and not Mexican if that’s what you’re hoping for. But the tomatillo sauce? No thanks.

I don’t have any pictures. I remember cooking before I was pregnant having my camera at the ready during dinner time for my blog pictures. I’m not there yet. I’m sure I will be soon :)

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by CStoll on June 1, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Not 100% sure, but there is probably a Mexican tomatillo sauce you can buy in a can that would help give it a more Mexican flavor without having to go through the blender issue.

    That is definitely a combination I’ve never heard of, but sounds pretty tasty.

    Reply

  2. Wow. That whole process sounds intense! Good for you, though! I need to get started cooking again. If you have any ridiculously simple, healthy recipes please send them my way. Cooking for one is a little ridiculous, but it has to be done!

    Reply

    • Yes, cooking for one I can’t even imagine. The leftovers we have are ridiculous and we definitely eat like a family of four already!

      Reply

  3. […] And I really didn’t really feel like cooking tonight but Mr. Husband-face wanted to give the Maniladas (of all things!) another try. Tonight was the last time I’ll be making them. Lunch was almost […]

    Reply

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